The Rose is without an explanation; She blooms, because She blooms.
- Angelus Silesius
I love this little quilt. Well, it's not particularly small - it's a perfect sofa cuddler. :)
Everything about it makes me smile. Named after the Northcott charm pack that I had to buy when I only went into the shop for thread, I pieced the top back in 2009, mixing it with fabrics from my stash. I was really pleased with how it turned out.
Not wanting to ruin it with my then-nonexistent machine quilting skills, it hung on the rack for TWO WHOLE YEARS. sheesh, already!! ;D
So, when I needed a quilt to take to my appointment for practice time on the long arm machine last month, but had no time to piece a top, I decided to sacrifice my precious friend.
My brain spun non-stop all through the night on how I wanted to do the quilting. Spent a fair bit of time the next day doodling on piles of printer paper until I knew exactly what type of design I wanted to go with.
Figured Patty would get a chuckle out of my intent to do a custom job with separate borders rather than starting easy with an edge-to-edge, and she didn’t let me down. She laughed at me. :) Hey – if I’m always bringing complicated jobs for her to do for me, why should I go easy on myself?! I ended up getting to learn how to turn the quilt after it was mostly quilted so I could keep the long border work intact.
The inner free-motion design that I developed turned out to be the BEST motif for a beginner!! It’s so forgiving! Seriously! The mistakes actually make it look even better, because roses are all different from each other, and petals do all kinds of things in real life Now, this is my kind of thing!! woohoo! Why didn’t I try this AGES ago? ;D
I found the heart-shaped ivy leaves in the dark green border to be easy and relaxing.
In the red rose border, the little chalk dots I had marked every however-many inches were the perfect aiming spots for the line of free-motion roses I wanted to do there. It did throw me for a bit of a loop to figure out how to run that pattern upside down when I got to the bottom, but orienting the doodle paper on the quilt next to my sewing area helped a lot. I managed. It came out just fine.
|Started out like these. . .|
|Ended up like these!|
The one thing that did NOT come out just fine was the intended figure-8 scrolling in the double skinny border, next to the trellis pattern. ummmmm. yeah. oh, my, that one was funny. I just couldn’t get those to work! They got wider and wider and wider apart,
and when I got to the bottom, I couldn’t remember how far apart they’d spread, so I made them EVEN WIDER from each other! lolol It was pitiful. Got even funnier after I rotated the quilt to do the sides of the borders. :D I’ll have to chalk some spacer lines next time I try that motif.
Well, I did know up front that there was no way I was ready to try straight lines on the
longarm, let alone diagonal ones – and REALLY let alone a 1-inch crosshatching –
So Patty let me take her cone of thread home to do that part with my walking foot on the tabletop machine.
She even loaned me her handy-dandy crosshatch stencil to use with my Pouncer. Worked perfectly – it centered just right with minimal fudging. I thought it was really fun the way you just go around and around and around the quilt in a big zig-zag and the grid fills itself in as you keep going. . .
(so easily entertained sometimes)
The back looks really fun. Well, until I looked at those seriously goofy loops again. . . I was actually going to frog them out and redo that border set on the tabletop, but Scott said “No way” did he want to hear me whining about it the whole long time it would take. (hehe)
So I compromised and did some free-motion first aid: I sewed more loopdy-loops on the yellow border to at least fill in all the crazy spaces. They’re fairly messy, but I do like it better than it was before. Patty laughed at me when I took the thread back and showed her my “fix.” :D Well, yeah – can’t let go of ALL the perfection over-obsession at once! Maybe on Learning Piece #3. . .
So, finally – after two whole years – Romancing the Rose is quilted! Put the label on yesterday morning just in time for Show and Tell at guild, and this makes finish #14 of 2011~! I am excited. :D